Wednesday, September 20, 2006

NASCAR experience

As I mentioned, I was in Loudon this past weekend for the NASCAR race at New Hampshire International Speedway. The race was good, but Friday was even better.

Dave Perewitz and his family are hosting the 14th annual Fall Foliage Run this weekend. It's an invitation only weekend on Cape Cod with a cookout, fishing trip, poker run, poker chip stroll and a seafood banquet. Both the cookout and the banquet have auctions - a silent one at the cookout on Friday night and the live auction on Saturday night with Dave as the auctioneer.

The charity auction portion of the weekend started eight years ago with a docation of $2,200. That number has swelled in recent years with over $177,000 being divided and donated to the Floating Hospital Children's Cancer Center (Boston, MA), Louisiana native Charlie "Doc" Leggio (after Hurricane Katrina) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. This is truly a family who has had some good fortune and gives back as much as they possibly can.

There are some fabulous items up for auction this year. How do I know? No, I don't have a complete list but some of the items are sitting here in my home office. Things I picked up in Loudon on Friday...see, I was getting back to that!

Each year Dave asks some of his friends in the NASCAR community if they will donate items to his charity auction. Each year they say 'yes' and bring the items up to Loudon where Dave picks them up. However, this year Perewitz Cycle Fabrication had not one, but two shows to attend on the same weekend as Loudon. Dave asked if I would mind going up on Friday to pick up a few things and take a plain white helmet up and have the drivers sign it for the auction. Let me think.... a free pass into the NASCAR pits to see all the teams and drivers? I would have left the day he asked me (2 weeks in advance!) and camped out if I had to!

So, up to Loudon I went on Friday morning with a plain helmet and a big expectation - I wanted to get at least 35 drivers' signatures on the helmet. That was my goal.

Robert Yates' 38 team were my hosts for the day. Brent, Mike and the rest of the guys were so hospitable and very helpful with my quest for a fully signed helmet. I very much appreciated their time and help. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't have caught a couple of the guys that I didn't recognize while they were in street clothes and not their racing suits.

I spent the whole day in the pits and had a great time even though I didn't reach my goal with the signatures. This was not due to any driver saying 'no', they were all unfailingly nice and more than willing to sign the helmet - it was due to the lack of catching them all before they got in their car or made it back to their hauler. It's easier said than done. I only came away with 29, but I'm hoping the helmet will still go for a good price. It did last year.

Here are some photos of the helmet. See if you can pick out your favorite driver. Let me know who you think you see there and I'll let you know if you guessed correctly. I'll post a list in a day or so. Some are easy for race fans since they put their car number next to their name.

Much more from the pits soon including: the only person I was truly star struck by, the other items I brought home, and other observations. This may have been a task for a worthy cause, but it was a blast for me. Now I wonder how I get this same 'job' next year.....

Just a racing tidbit for today. Thanks for stopping by.


reva said...

I know you were in heaven, Donna! What a fun day for you. Oops, I mean "What a hard day of work for you!"

Super Rookie said...

The new #19 is better than the new #38. He knows how to crash.

But, the #38's paint job is superior to the #19's old paint job.